The UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment) annually organizes events for World Environment Day, which encourages worldwide awareness and action for the protection of the environment. It is celebrated on 5 June in over 100 countries. In 2019, China will host the global World Environment Day celebrations on the theme, ‘Air Pollution’.
History of World Environment Day
World Environment Day [WED] was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972. The first WED was held in 1974 with the theme “Only One Earth”. Since then, World Environment Day is celebrated on the 5th of June every year and has been a flagship campaign for raising awareness on emerging environmental issues from marine pollution, human overpopulation, and global warming, to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime.
World Environment Day has grown to become a global platform for public outreach, with participation from over 143 countries annually. Each year, World Environment Day has a new theme that major corporations, NGOs, communities, governments and celebrities worldwide adopt to advocate environmental causes.
World Environment Day 2019
The idea for rotating the centre of these activities through selecting different host countries began in 1987. Additionally, each World Environment Day is organised around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern.
For 2019, China has been selected as host Nation & “Beat Air Pollution” is the theme. This year’s topic invites us all to consider how we can change our everyday lives to reduce the amount of air pollution we produce, and thwart its contribution to global warming and its effects on our own health.
The Environment and the Sustainable Development Goals
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development states our resolve “to ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources”. In particular, Goals 14 and 15 focus on protecting under water and on land ecosystems, as well as on sustainably using marine and terrestrial resources.
Why Do We Mark International Days?
International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool
The article was originally published on Prakati